At one point in my life, my definition of happiness would have been the person that had everything they want.  On television and in movies they always looked happy.  Most media outlets  portrayed them as being happy and everyone else seemed to agree with my opinion.  Now I am much older, more traveled, been exposed to many different people and have accomplished a lot of my original material goals.  I have changed my original opinion.

The magazine Psychology Today sent a survey to 52,000 people asking them to respond and tell them how they believed they would find happiness.  Most of the respondents said they dreamed of winning the lottery and it would fulfill their happiness.  Lets take a look at one story of a lottery winner.  A Pennsylvania resident won eight million dollars.  Within a year his wife left him, winning alimony and child support that would cost him one million dollars; his landlady sued him for 30% of the winnings and won in court; his brother and sister in-law were indicted and imprisoned for trying to hire someone to kill him.  I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound much like happiness.  The truth about the lottery is most of the winners end up bankrupt financially and end up bankrupt in their happiness account.

I know someone reading this is saying, “I would still like to have everything I want and find out for myself”.  I understand, I use to feel the same way when I read or heard “dumb” 🙂 people say the things I am saying.  Needless to say, that doesn’t change the facts.  Don’t get me wrong, money will eliminate some of life’s annoyances but money does not fill the void where happiness lies.  We all know a person or have heard about celebrities that have everything that life could offer but are so miserable that they end up destroying themselves.  Did you know that the number one profession for suicide is psychologist?  Why? Because they have seen and heard the depravity of the human heart.

You see happiness has the same middle-english root happ, which is also found in the word happening.  In other words, happiness depends on what happens.  We are happy if certain things happen to use; if they do not then our happiness vanishes like mist.  Isn’t it ironic that the middle letter in happiness is I.  Our state of happiness revolves around I, me, and my.

  •  Whats going to happen to me?
  • Whats going to happen to my family?
  • What is wrong with my kids?
  • What if I don’t succeed?
  • I wish my spouse would understand me!
This means that we are the greatest obstacle blocking the way to happiness.  When we are most focused on ourselves and what we want, that is when we are the most un-happy.  As soon as you focus your attention to others; what they want, what they need, that is when the amazing feeling comes over you.  A feeling called happiness.  A business guru once said,” You help enough people get what they want and by default you will get what you want.”  That does not only apply to business but to every area of life.  I have experienced this so many times in my life that I can not recount them all.  I am having a bad day, I don’t feel good, something is aching but as soon as I get focused on serving, I quickly forget about the things that are troubling me.  The really crazy part of it is the more I serve others the greater blessings I receive back.  As the old Hindu proverb states: “Help thy brothers boat across, and lo! thy own has reached the shore.”
The ultimate answer to the issue is when you know you cannot do anything without Gods help and put your total faith in Him.  Therefore,  if you are having a problem with marriage, kids, finances, relationships, figure out who and how to serve and you will experience the feeling of happiness.
God Bless


40 thoughts on “Happ-i-ness”

  1. Yes money gives you options and can make you feel happy…happy is an emotion…money can cause you hurt and pain…sad is an emotion! We are so grateful that you lead us in a direction to see money as a tool to do good or bad….its up to the person to do right with the money which will bring happiness to the giver and receiver! True Happiness comes from knowing we are children of God…all the money in the world can never buy the love of Christ…He offers that to us free for the asking! Bless someone daily and watch God outbless you everytime! Give “happy”…receive “happy” everytime!

  2. Bill,
    Awesome post! Our family was invited to serve at a food bank not too long ago. Our daughter, 8 at the time, was stationed at the drink and desert end. We saw people from 6 yrs – 90 yrs old walking through to get food and some sort of fellowship. She walked in there so full of fear, doubt, worry, frustration. 5 minutes in I got a chance to look over at her, an incredible distance of 15 ft for a dad in the circumstances, and she was all smiles and fun with the kids and adults. It wasn’t long before everyone put the fears behind them simply because of the opportunity to serve. Getting the chance to go out and serve daily is a blessing – Lead the way…All the way.
    Dan & Kendra

  3. This is so true Bill, a person can think they have all they want but then they want more and more becomes “not enough”. If a person would take a moment and take in everything they have, they would know they do have enough. They woke up this morning, they took a breath, that should be going on faith alone:) They should be thankful for what they have been blessed with. Helping others like you said really does bring a feeling of happiness and fulfillment. Seeing others receive blessings of their own and accomplish what they accomplish is what makes us tick. Take away all of a person’s possessions or what have you can really help them realize that they do have enough. Relying on God’s plan for each of us IS enough. We have personally experienced this and it has made us realize that we can still do anything even if we don’t “have it all” yet like “they” say. Serving does make you have it all first and foremost and the more you give, He will provide. Faith is and should be a person’s happiness. Thank you for helping us through this journey Bill & Jackie, with your help, encouragement and faith in us is what drives us to do more for all each and every day:)

  4. Great article Bill…it is interesting to see how peoples perspectives change as they learn new and correct information and solid principles.

  5. Great Article Bill!
    I think that most people don’t even take the time to truly look and search for happiness because they are bound by what everyone else has said will make them happy. They are bound by that and the fear that they will loose friends if they are not doing what their other friends are, but like you said in the article, YOU have to find what makes YOU happy and put the “I” in happiness.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thank you for your post, Bill! Excellent read. The breakdown of the word happiness is great! …it makes me wonder if seeking happiness is all it’s cut up to be! Maybe I’ll seek something else like fulfillment. Keep the posts coming — they’re excellent!

  7. Awesome post Bill! I completely agree with everything you said. LIFE gives us the opportunity to experience real happiness because by default we serve others and in turn we benefit from that service which makes us happy! I am the most happy when I am associated with the LIFE/TEAM community. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Great blog Bill!! You are very right in that the only way to obtain true happiness is to give happy. It’s perfect timing with this blog because I just finished reading “Go-Givers Sell More” about 10 minutes ago. It was a great book with amazing principles about adding value to others lives and by giving and not by seeing how we can benefit from someone. Looking forward to seeing everyone down in Ohio next month!!

  9. Absolutely Bill we all tend to forget the true definition of happiness especially in this crazy world we live in. Thank you for your leadership and God bless. PORTHOS MUSKETEERS ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!!

  10. Thanks Bill. You have the answers
    in the last paragraph.More right on, you could never be.I know so many people that are struggling and if they just gave it all to the lord
    it would all become very clear.You are a great leader and mentor.
    God Bless you, Steve

  11. Bill,
    I appreciate the way you break that down. That is so true, I am part of Community Building and have seen exactly what you’re talking about. I have met and talked to people with virtually nothing material other than the family they have and the food in their bellies, and some of them are the happiest people I have ever met. But if you take it to the other extreme, I have seen people making tons of money, have big beautiful homes, all the material things that many others dream about, but they don’t have the TIME to enjoy it = NO HAPPINESS. I have found the more greatful that I become about the many things I have been blessed with in life, the less negative I feel about what I don’t have. I have also found that the more someone becomes truly thankful for, the more God blesses you.
    God bless you and thank you for your gift of putting thoughts into written form. That truly does take a knack 🙂
    God Bless

    1. thinking about ourselves / which will cause us to be unhappy / when I get to focused on myself it never seems to bring about any joy

  12. Bill, there is so much i don’t know, it’s a curse and a blessing. When i run into obstacles, often well beyond my ability to work through with Mt own current thinking, i seek the answers to those things i don’t know once again, and always with a new fire. I am pulled out of circumstance,compelled past happenstance, and rediscover intentionality. The best thing is I’m drawn away from me for a minute. I’ve heard it said, “It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame.” It’s so true! I am grateful for this blog, it serves, and has served, asa way for myself, and all who read it, to be drawn into that realm of intentionality. The place where you can look at past, present, and future, and determine your course. Happiness is something i have found abundantly there. Purpose provides happiness. Thanks Bill

  13. This is so true Bill as I am learning in my life and hope to be as good as all the Ploicy council to teach others the same things. Great post

  14. Bill,
    This is spoken like a true servant. GREAT Blog!!!
    I have had the experience of watching someone win the lottery and what it really does to them. I know they have said that they actually wish that they had not won it. It has made every aspect of their life worse, from financial troubles to nearly getting a divorce. When this happened my wife and I were not involved with LIFE/TEAM, so we did not have the information that this couple needed. Thanks again, Bill for sharing some truth.

  15. Wow Bill this is awesome! I never thought about it that way! A lot of us seem to think of Happiness as having Money and material things. But what happens when you have all the money you need?! We find that “hmmmm” maybe it’s not all about money. Although it can eliminate a lot of our temporary struggles and when it does what’s next? I feel a lot of people see the life they always wanted at FIRST is their goliaths conquered! Of what seems to be so huge at the time forgetting its only temporary. Being an average person as most of us are a lot of the populations problems, goliaths, or excuses involve not having enough money. Once that problem is eliminated we see things differently! Now, what i find so powerful about this blog is how you reminded us that we are ALL put here to serve! So once we get ourselves out of the way and just remember to serve no matter what the circumstances are…true happiness is discovered! Amen!

  16. Great post! Couple of truths that jumped out at me…

    “Money will eliminate some of life’s annoyances but money does not fill the void where happiness lies.”

    “As soon as you focus your attention to others; what they want, what they need, that is when the amazing feeling comes over you. A feeling called happiness.”

  17. This is a very to the point blog post that has many wisdom nuggets to gather up! Thank you for your ongoing service before self, Bill; you and Jackie are fantastic & Kaizen looks forward to seeing you two back in CBus in about a month!

    1. The reason we get them mixed up is our society has made pleasure seem like it is happiness. It may be pleasurable for the moment but most pleasure requires more pleasure. Happiness is a choice a decision and so you don’t need situations to make you happy. When you are happy the circumstances do not affect your happiness. They may effect your mood but not your core happiness.

  18. Awesome post and insight! Thank you for sharing and helping us focus on others…when all we see around us in the media is selfish narcissistic behavior. You are truly a light to us all. Thanks again!

  19. Great post Bill! The more we focus on others and truely care to help them, it makes us feel better about ourself. I think sometimes we want to think of an easy way out and think if we win the lotto it will solve our problems not realizing it creates more. You did a great job on breaking it down. The harder the struggle the more of a lesson learned. Thanks again for the great post.

  20. Loved your post Bill. It got me thinking of happiness in French, “heureux”. There is no research done on this, but we can see ‘heure’ – hour which ressembles your happens, time spent with or doing. Then the ‘eux’ is them… We cannot be happy alone, it is with others we can be happy ” heureux”… Thank you.

  21. Great post. I enjoy hearing the root meaning of words. It motivates me to read and associate even more. Thank you for sharing so many true statements.

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